New York-based multi-state operator (MSO) Columbia Care (NEO:CCHW) will expand a test program allowing purchases with a credit card in its dispensaries in the US.

On Thursday (June 13), the MSO confirmed it will begin accepting credit card payments across all its operations from buyers who have a credit card under its Columbia National Credit program (CNC Card).

The program first made an appearance with an initial soft launch in New York in 2018. Now it will be offered in Delaware and Pennsylvania, with Illinois and Arizona following before the end of June.

Consumers can apply for Columbia Care’s credit card, which offers an annual percentage rate of between 15.99 and 24.99 percent with no annual fee. Columbia Care plans to make its credit card program available to all its dispensaries by the end of 2019.

While the firm indicated that at first this program will only be available in its own stores, Columbia Care plans to explore options to expand the reach of the program through partnerships.

According to the firm, the first version of the program in New York boosted the “average basket size for in-store purchases” by 18 percent.

“Based on our success in New York … we are confident that the CNC Card has the potential to be a significant value add for the company and for all of our customers who look to us for reliable and convenient high-quality health and wellness options,” Nicholas Vita, CEO of Columbia Care, said in a press release.

The executive said consumers prefer to pay with credit cards. The CNC Card program will offer consumers benefits such as discounts, cash back programs and access to exclusive offers.

Shares of Columbia Care dropped in Thursday’s trading session following the announcement. The company closed at a price of C$7.75, representing a 1.4 percent decline for the day.

Columbia Care kickstarted a stream of US marijuana firms reaching the public markets in Canada through the Toronto-based NEO Exchange.

The firm debuted, according to the exchange, as the first C$1 billion valued company on the NEO Exchange in April.

“This is an exciting time to be partnering with a leader in the US cannabis sector as it moves into its next phase and looks to raise capital on the North American public markets,” said Jos Schmitt, president and CEO of the NEO Exchange, at the time.

In May, shares of the MSO were added to the brand new Horizons US Marijuana Index ETF (NEO:HMUS), run by Horizons ETFs Management (Canada), by way of a unique “fast entry” rule; this allowed the stock to skip past waiting for a regular addition in one of the fund’s quarterly rebalances.

The company recently reported revenue totals of US$39.3 million for its full 2018 year. So far in 2019, the firm has reported revenue of US$12.9 million in Q1 with a net loss of US$25.1 million, attributed to higher operating expenses.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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